Urologists, also known as bladder cancer doctors, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is a type of cancer which affects the lining of the urinary bladder, and may be found in the upper urinary system as well. While this type of cancer has a favorable success rate when diagnosed early, it also becomes more difficult to treat if it spreads. Therefore, finding a specialist in your area soon after being diagnosed with bladder cancer is detrimental for your well-being.
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Consult your primary care physician
You may want to consult your primary care doctor if you are experiencing such symptoms as blood in your urine. Your doctor will then order a urine culture in order to determine if the blood present in the urine is due to cancer or some other infection. Although, blood in the urine is a sign of bladder cancer it does not mean you have cancer. Tests will need to be performed in order to confirm cancer or not. Once bladder cancer has been confirmed your physician may give you references for bladder cancer doctors they have used in the past.
Consult specialists in your area
A cancer specialist is more beneficial than a general physician for the treatment of bladder cancer due to their vast knowledge and continued education specializing in diseases of the urinary system, including the array of bladder cancers. Bladder cancer specialists perform a procedure known as a cystoscopy which is where a doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube through the uretha and into the bladder in order to examine the bladder. The doctor may also remove tissue from any abnormal cells found using the same thin tube. This tissue is then analyzed to determine the type, grade and stage of bladder cancer. Your treatment will depend on the type of bladder cancer you have as well as what stage and grade it is in. A cystoscopy may be performed in a doctors office or in an operating room; however, the first one is usually done in a doctors office using a local anesthetic to numb the area before the procedure is performed. Your treatment options will vary depending on the type, stage and grade the cancer is in and you may want to weigh your options of the various treatment methods, if time permits. Radiation is usually the initial treatment method; however, surgery is most often used in treating bladder cancer successfully.
Radiologists and bladder cancer surgeons are among the team of specialists you will be working with regarding treatment for the type of bladder cancer you have. Communication has a major impact on the success of any treatment; therefore, it is imperative for this group of specialists to communicate well with each other and you, as their patient, in regards to your specific treatment.
Contact local hospitals and national organizations
You may also contact your local hospital either through their web site or you may also contact them personally regarding information on bladder cancer specialists in your area. They may also be able to give you references for bladder cancer surgeons, if surgery is an option for you.
Contacting local and national organizations is also beneficial for finding information involving doctors in your area who specialize in the type of bladder cancer you have. Most of these organizations have web sites which have a vast amount of information regarding the specific type of bladder cancer you have, including treatment options, and the risks of it returning.
It is beneficial to keep in contact with the bladder cancer doctors even after treatment in case any problems arise, such as new or worsening symptoms.